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Caixa Geral's president is fed up with politicians

caixageral2Former Health Minister and current president of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Paulo Macedo, is fed up with politicians.

Announcing a quarterly net loss for the bank of €38.6 million, while explaining this away by noting €58 million in non-recurring items such as staff pay-offs and comfy early retirement packages, Paulo Macedo used today’s press conference to complain that politicians keep trying to drag Caixa Geral into the political arena.

This annoying interference of Macedo’s smooth working day has been due to a strategic decision to close branches, never a popular move and guaranteed to get certain MPs and mayors in a flap.

In 2016, as the bank approached melt-down with the resignation of the board of directors and the preparation of another government bailout, Caixa Geral announced that it was going to cut 2,500 jobs between 2017 and 2020, through early retirement and mutual agreement.

Macedo said of the branch closure programme, "CGD has not received any request from the Government to be more careful about this or that branch closure. There’s been no pressure."

The bank president said that the closure of branches is in the restructuring plan and that all Portuguese banks are slimming down and will continue to do so this year and next.

Those opposed to the branch closure programme, including many political parties, say the bank is the people’s bank and should be in areas where, although there may be a low volume of business, people still need a banking service.

Perhaps unfamiliar with his job description at the ailing State-owned bank, Macedo said today that "The main responsibility (of Caixa Geral) is to its depositors, not to political parties or local authorities," forgetting that his main responsibility is to shareholders.

In Caixa Geral’s case there is but one shareholder, the taxpayer and it is to the taxpayer Macedo primarily is responsible, depositors come second.   

Regarding the net interest income, the difference between interest charged on loans and interest received on deposits, Caixa Geral posted a year-on-year quarterly increase of 18.4% to €326 million, mainly due to a further decrease in the already miserly rates it pays on deposited funds.

As for this State-owned bank lending to cash-starved businesses, Caixa Geral has 5% less out on loan to individual and 13% less on loan to companies, year-on-year. The taxpayer already has been forced to increase Caixa Geral’s capital by €3.9 billion with a larger recapitalisation still in the masterplan but the public was sold on the idea that the bank would be lending the money, not sitting on it nor using it to trigger more write-offs of non-performing loans.


0 #2 nogin the nog 2017-05-21 01:10
Master plan, The only master plan here is that the Portuguese tax payer is well and truly getting shafted.
0 #1 Harry.O 2017-05-19 20:47
All eyes in the EU banking world are not on this relative minnow but on the high number of very shaky Italian Banks. Some have been bailed out more than once by competitors or by the Atlante Italian Government investment vehicle. Now many are seen as 'total loss' investments. So not attracting new money.


If enough of Italy's Banks now start going belly up, without German investment - unlikely in an election year - it is game over for all the Graeco-Roman Banks. And maybe the euro currency itself. Ho hum.